Tag Archives: Italy

El verdugo / The Executioner (1963) Luis García Berlanga, Nino Manfredi, Emma Penella, José Isbert, Drama, Comedy

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The history starts with the main character (an old executioner in the Spain of early 60’s) approaching retirement age. As his profession is not exactly what you could call “popular”, he (a very gentle and nice man, caring, and proud of traditions) begins to worry about who might take his place when he retires. He has a daughter, but, unfortunately, she seems doomed to perpetual “spinsterhood”: as soon as any prospective groom learns about her dad and her dad’s “trade”, he runs away from her, scared. A sad life… However, a new character enters: the local undertaker, a handsome and young man who has exactly the same problem… No girl wants him given his profession. So, you have the woman whom almost nobody would marry and the man whom almost nobody would marry. Obviously, they are meant for each other. But here the old executioner has something to say: He does not object to her daughter marrying the young undertaker; he seems a decent man, and all that…

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Il richiamo / The Call (2009) Stefano Pasetto, Sandra Ceccarelli, Francesca Inaudi, César Bordón, Drama, Romance

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Stefano Pasetto’s finely balanced tale of two women from different generations and very different sensibilities provides a surprising answer. Frustrated in each of their relationships, the two women get together and leave town, boldly striking out on their own and forming an indelible bond despite their many differences. This is only the beginning of a wonderfully liberating experience that defies narrative expectations.

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Il sud è niente / South Is Nothing (2013) Fabio Mollo, Miriam Karlkvist, Vinicio Marchioni, Valentina Lodovini, Drama, Family

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Grazia is 17 and lives in a small town in the South of Italy. Her brother Pietro disappeared years ago; she was told he was dead and her father never wanted to talk about it. One night, after a fight, Grazia enters into the sea and sees a human figure, in which she recognises her brother. That night she decides to search for him, breaking the rule of silence to which her father has always obeyed.

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Obce cialo / Foreign Body (2014) Krzysztof Zanussi, Riccardo Leonelli, Agnieszka Grochowska, Agata Buzek, Drama, Romance

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Angelo and Kasia met in Italy in the Focolare Movement where their love and faith in God brought them together. Their relationship’s in broken by the girl’s return to Poland and her decision on entering the convent. Angelo arrives in Warsaw in order to persuade Kasia to change her mind. He takes up a job in an international corporation while waiting for her decision…

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La Horse / The Horse (1970) Pierre Granier-Deferre, Jean Gabin, Danièle Ajoret, Michel Barbey, Crime, Thriller

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Near the Baie de la Seine swamps, opposite the Port of Le Havre, Auguste Maroilleur, an elderly farmer, exploits 400 hectares of crop land with the help of his family, over which he rules with an iron hand. Things go awry the day he discovers one of his grandsons is involved in drug traffic. To make matters worse, the reckless youth has hidden the white powder in the Maroilleur farm. Without a moment’s hesitation, Auguste gets rid of the toxic substance but, of course, the mob has different views…

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La persona de Leo N. / The Person de Leo N. (2005) Alberto Vendemmiati, Documentary

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As a twelve-year-old boy, Nicola de Leo already knew she wanted to become a woman. Today, the now forty-year-old transsexual lives in Venice and has changed her name to Nicole. She has undergone a hormone treatment and grown breasts, but she still lives inside the body of a middle-aged man, including a penis, a beard and a substantial Adam’s apple. This is why Nicole is applying for a sex change through official channels. ‘I never thought it would be so hard. I thought making the decision was enough,’ she says. During five tense years, Nicole fights her emotional and physical struggle in the presence of director Alberto Vendemmiati’s camera. Working as an actress, a seller of carnival masks and a prostitute, she finances her cosmetic treatments and looks forward to the subsidised sex change operation. Meanwhile, she turns to her elderly mother for support, who has a hard time accepting that her son will soon be a daughter.

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Nenè (1978) Salvatore Samperi, Leonora Fani, Tino Schirinzi, Paola Senatore, Drama

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It’s the late 1940s in Italy. WWII is over, but society the world over still bears its scars. In a remote countryside, one family of four occupies a big villa: a young boy, his older sister and their parents. Ju (Sven Valsecchi) is a cute and innocent boy – curious like most kids his age about such things as love, kisses, women’s breasts and generally the difference between sexes. When his cousin, a 14-year-old orphaned girl, moves in with the family, Ju discovers an opportunity to satisfy his increasing curiosity about the female sex. But it all comes at a price…

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The Angel Wore Red (1960) Nunnally Johnson, Ava Gardner, Dirk Bogarde, Joseph Cotten, Action, Drama, War

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The Spanish priest played by Dirk Bogarde is troubled by his church’s lack of concern for the poor; he decides to leave the church. By chance, the same day the Republicans call on the people to attack the churches and the priests, so though in plainclothes he is liable to arrest and execution. A beautiful cabaret singer (Ava Gardner) hides him for awhile but both are eventually made prisoner. The plot revolves around a relic taken from his erstwhile church by another priest that all sides are convinced would assure them victory…

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